Thebannerkingrebel came within a length of giving us a Grade 2 winner at the Grand National Aintree Festival last week. Having been off the track for over a year, it was an incredible team effort to get him back into top shape. He had won two bumpers prior to disappointing at the Cheltenham Festival last year as his wind gave away. Unfortunately, his wind operation last summer went wrong, and he spent the best part of 6 months in the vets. Our team nursed him back to health, and after a lot of hard work, we had all seen him back to his brilliant best on the gallops. We were all incredibly proud of his performance at Aintree, but to be beaten by such a short amount we all felt rather gutted in the same sentence! However, we are very much looking forward to seeing him novice hurdling next season, and the dream begins……
Thebannerkingrebel is 2nd in the Grade 2 Aintree Bumper
Of our other Aintree runners, I was delighted with Adrrastos who was 4th in the Grade 3 Red Rum chase. The heavens opened and the ground became very soft prior to his run, and despite not appreciating conditions he showed tremendous courage to run his heart out. He had been off a long time prior to winning at Hereford in March, and I look forward to a fruitful summer with him now. Meanwhile, Shantewe just missed out on being placed when 5th in the Grade 2 Mares Bumper when a slow early gallop didn’t play to her strengths. She is another who will make into a cracking hurdler next season but might run in a valuable Class 2 bumper at the end of May before her summer holiday. Fact of the Matter missed the cut for the Grand National itself, so we ran him in the Topham over 2m5, and he was just getting into his stride towards the end of the race and would have enjoyed another circuit – next year…..
We’ve hit the crossbar with a couple of other runners recently as Alrightjack filled the runners up spot when shouldering a penalty at Sedgefield, and Richie Valentine was 2nd at Fontwell on his hurdling debut. King Vince looked like he was going to play a hand in the finish when coming down 3 fences from home at Market Rasen under a good ride from Page, and Chapmanshype showed plenty of promise when 4th on his hurdling debut at Wincanton.
Alrightjack is just touched off under his penalty when looking for his 3rd win this season.
We head to the Scottish National meeting over the weekend now with a couple of chances, and I look forward to seeing the Radley College horse (College Oak) out in a bumper this weekend too.